Oh, brother. Previously on Dawson's Creek, the producers assumed that nobody who tuned in this week would ever have watched the show before, or watched any other show, or gone outdoors and engaged in human contact at any time since the invention of the cathode ray. So, here's what happened. The Big Bang formed the universe, including the Milky Way galaxy, in which our solar system resides. Earth, originally a molten ball, formed and cooled. Little teeny cells became fish, which became dinosaurs, which became the National Football League. Then all the dinosaurs died, and man came along and drew in a cave or two, and then he made fire, refined sugar, and color TV. Then Lucy had Little Ricky, Jack Ruby shot Oswald, Deborah Norville got fired, I had to tape over a copy of Bail Out starring David Hasselhoff because I ran out of blank tapes and didn't realize it until 7:58 on Wednesday, Dawson got into USC, Joey got into Worthington, Pacey sulked a bit, Jack wanted to go to the University of New York but Jen didn't like the idea, Tom Frost quizzed Jen on the last conversation she had with her father, Jen couldn't remember, the Chinese released US personnel after the spy-plane incident, and then the sweet Lord came to take me home.
Fade up on the Sanctum Dawsonorum, where Dawson "Cherry Cherry Quite Contrary" Leery and Gretchen "Centrum Silver" Witter play a board game -- The Game Of Life, or perhaps The Game Of No Life, which would suit the players better. Gretchen asks what he's thinking, and Dawson parries with "nothing" before admitting that he's thinking about Joey, and how she and Jen got on a train to New York earlier. Good Lord, Dawson. "Nothing" would have gotten the job done -- you couldn't just leave it at that? Gretchen's head snaps around when she hears the word "Joey," and she asks all casually whether they don't have school the next day; Dawson dons the exposition sombrero and informs her that "it's ditch day." Gretchen tells a boring story about her senior ditch day which contains a feebly contrived sixties-film reference, possibly because Gretchen's senior ditch day took place in the sixties. The eighteen-sixties. Anyway, it seems that Gretchen and her friends drove all night to the Virginia border, got out, looked around, turned around and drove home. Wow, that's a great story. I hope she tells it again. Not. I totally don't. Anyway, Dawson pouts that he's never done anything "like that" in his life, "with anyone." Gretchen shrugs, "Why not?" "Because it's stupid -- and besides, have you seen the price of a gallon of gas lately?" Dawson snorts. No, he doesn't. He just arches The Eyebrow Of Impending Spontaneity at her. Oh, no.
Cut to Dawson dragging Gretchen by the hand down the stairs of Pregnancy Pavilion, Gretchen protesting, "What about Life? I was about to retire in style." Yeah, no kidding. You already get to see movies for five bucks, lady. Ohhhh, she's talking about the game! I get it. I do! Wait -- do I? Then Dawson clears it up for me by saying that "[they're] going to abandon Life for awhile." See what he did there? "Life"/"life"? That is deep, man. Dawson announces that they're going to get in the car and drive. Gretchen says she didn't mean her story as a suggestion; she just had a nostalgic moment. It doesn't matter, Dawson says; it's "exactly what" they need. He continues hauling her towards the door. Gretchen comments that it sounds like a Bruce Springsteen song, and while I start singing "Baby We Were Born To Run" under my breath -- replacing the word "run" with the word "hurl" -- Dawson begins babbling about "epic" and "romantic" and "crazy" and "perfect," and he stuffs Gretchen into her jacket, which I think she stole from the set of Buffy because Willow had on the exact same one in the last episode. Gretchen says they don't have to go right then, but Dawson says that "time is running out," and asks if she doesn't feel "the absolute urgency of this moment," and then he kisses her. And then he drags her out the door. Without telling his parents he's leaving. Or charging his cell phone. Whatever.